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Tivoli Audio to Enter the Wi-Fi World with NetWorks Radio

Tivoli Audio is targeting the fall Christmas selling season for the release of two sub-$1,000 radio models in tabletop and portable versions. Using either Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections, the radios will be able to access streaming content from approximately 12,000 free worldwide radio stations as well as streaming HD Radio and DAB Radio content, streaming podcasts and certain music files that are resident on a user’s hard drive from either Macs or PCs (except for iTunes-purchased content). “The hard part was making it easy,” Tivoli Audio’s president and CEO, Tom DeVesto, says of his company’s five-year development curve for the new NetWorks and NetWorksGo Internet radios. It took that long, he says, in “getting it all into a box that will work without using a computer.” The radios, he says, “automatically recognize your IP address when you go on line. The radios decode WMA, MP3 and Real Audio files, and will also eventually be able to access XM and Sirius content, he says. “People are spending less and less time with AM and FM radio,” adds DeVesto, “and wireless Internet radio use numbers are climbing – all without a real consumer-friendly Internet radio on the market…Till now, Internet listening has been almost ‘fun and games.’ But it’s becoming less that and more listening to full programs in real time – not just, ‘Gee, I can get Afghanistan!’” The radios in their present form, yet to be finalized, look much like the company’s signature Model One table radio and its SongBook portable, but the tabletop version has more graphic display real estate. Both will offer FM and FM Radio Data System reception capability when they hit retail shelves – and both are full-function alarm clocks. Battery life on the portable model is 10 hours between charges, DeVesto says, and it can take NiMH, NiCd or alkaline power supplies. For the tabletop version, an add-on speaker will be made available as an option. Both radios will be upgradable over Wi-Fi, says DeVesto, and have auxiliary inputs for iPod connection, as well as USB inputs. Tivoli is also planning to market a new European-style dark-wood exotic finish called “Wenge” (pronounced “venga”) with a complementary bronze faceplate as an option on its Model One ($119.99) and Music System ($749.99) SKUs – part of what DeVesto terms his desire to “create a design ethic that is bundled together with technology, rather than just focusing on either one or the other.” Nancy Klosek – Dealerscope »View the article